San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Sevilla Called Up to Majors

Aristides Sevilla, a lanky right-handed pitcher from León, has become the 11th Nicaraguan baseball player to make the Major Leagues. Sevilla, who pitches in the U.S. under the name “Wilton López,” was called up from AA ball to the Houston Astros Aug. 26, according to his agent Evelio Areas.

The struggling Astros put the young Nica on the mound his first game in a Major League uniform, Aug. 28 against Arizona. He got roughed up in his first appearance, giving up eight hits and six runs – including three homers – in four innings.

Sevilla, who started the year at the San Diego Padres’ Spring Training camp, was put on waivers and then signed to a Minor League contract by the Astros.

His teammate at Spring Training, 22-year-old Everth Cabrera, a lightning-fast shortstop from Nandaime, got called up to the Padres at the beginning of the season, becoming the 10th Nicaraguan to make the Bigs. Cabrera has since become the “Friars” everyday shortstop, batting .272 with a team-leading 20 stolen bases.

Sevilla and Cabrera join Nicaraguan bad boy Vicente Padilla, the hard-throwing and hard-partying right-handed pitcher from Chinandega, as the three Nicaraguans currently playing in the Major Leagues.

Padilla last week got his first win in a Dodgers uniform after being dropped by the Texas Rangers last month.

Padilla is 9 and 6 this year, with an unspectacular 4.86 ERA. He is expected to pick up some more wins down the homestretch of the National League Pennant race.

All three Nicaraguan players – the most to play in the Majors at the same time – are all playing for National League clubs. The other Nicaraguans who have played in The Show are: Denis Martínez, Antonio Chévez, Albert Williams, David Green, Porfirio Altamirano, Marvin Benard, Oswaldo Mairena and Devern Hansack, who is still playing AAA ball in the Red Sox farm system.

–Tim Rogers


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